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A Prototype Analysis of Self-Gratitude: Towards a Broadening of the Concept of Gratitude

Abstract

In the past two decades, gratitude has been shown to be closely related to mental health and well-being. However, there is no consensus about its definition, and self-gratitude was hastily dismissed. This research aimed to analyze how self-gratitude is considered by laypersons. We conducted three online studies to test the hypothesis according to which self-gratitude is prototypically organized. In Study 1, participants (N = 152) listed the features of self-gratitude: 55 categories emerged from the data processing. In Study 2, participants (N = 146) significantly distinguished the features according to their degree of centrality. In Study 3 (N = 108), the analysis showed that the centrality of features influenced cognition through a recognition task. The results provide preliminary evidence of the internal structure of self-gratitude. Overall, this study showed the lay conceptions, allowing us to define self-gratitude as acknowledgment and appreciation of meaningful benefits involving the self.

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Correspondence to Rebecca Shankland.

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Tachon, G., Rouibah, A., Morgan, B. et al. A Prototype Analysis of Self-Gratitude: Towards a Broadening of the Concept of Gratitude. J Happiness Stud 23, 1867–1885 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10902-021-00475-1

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10902-021-00475-1

Keywords

  • Self-gratitude
  • Prototype analysis
  • Gratitude
  • Positive psychology
  • General population